May 17, 2022
On Friday, May 13, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom released his revised budget proposal for the 2022-23 fiscal year. The $300.7 billion budget proposal prioritizes health care and demonstrates a continuing commitment to providing universal health care access and coverage for all Californians.
Among the California Medical Association (CMA) priorities included in the budget proposal are:
- Practice equity and transformation grants ($700 million)
- Health information exchange technical assistance for small and safety net practices ($50 million)
- Additional funding for childhood vaccinations ($93 million)
- Reproductive health package ($57 million, in addition to funding in the governor’s January proposal)
- Youth behavioral health crisis response ($290 million)
- Opioid crisis response package ($41.8 million from Opioid Settlements Fund)
“The governor’s proposed budget includes important investments to reduce disparities in the health care system and improve access to and quality of care for children’s preventative health, maternity care, women’s reproductive health and integrated behavioral health services,” said CMA President Robert E. Wailes, M.D.
CMA is pleased that the budget also continues to protect Proposition 56 supplemental payments for Medi-Cal providers. “Our state is fortunate to have resources to support those who are struggling the most among us, and CMA will continue to advocate on behalf of the 13.5 million Californians that rely on critical Medi-Cal programs for their health care,” says Dr. Wailes. CMA continues to advocate for a review of whether these essential payments should be decoupled from a declining revenue source (tobacco taxes), in order to help ensure that they remain fully funded in future years.
Gov. Newson’s revised budget proposal continues to fund a phased-in system to provide full scope Medi-Cal coverage to all income eligible Californians regardless of age or documentation status by January 1, 2024. This will position California to be the first state in the nation to fully realize universal health care access and coverage.
The governor’s proposal also recognizes the sacrifices our health care workforce has made over the course of the pandemic, providing $933 million in retention payments for hospital and nursing home staff (including physicians).
“As we enter the third year of the pandemic and our health care workforce continues to face the unprecedented crisis head-on, we applaud the governor’s plan to provide payments to retain our frontline health care workers and to boost funding for vaccinations that will protect patients and keep our communities safe and healthy,” said Dr. Wailes.
While the governor’s revised budget proposal does protect existing graduate medical education (GME) funding, CMA is urging the legislature to provide additional, desperately needed funding for GME to address California’s looming physician shortage.
Gov. Newsom’s proposed budget must still go through the legislative process. CMA will continue to be active in conversations that affect the budget and ensure that physician voices and concerns are a central component in shaping the final budget.
For more details about the budget as it relates to health care, see CMA’s budget summary (members only).